Friday, August 9, 2013

Mess Maker, Mess Maker, Make Me a Mess!

If you meet me five years ago (heck even three years ago to be honest), you may have noticed that I have some quirks (okay...a LOT). Especially when it came to chaos. I like structure (to a degree). I like things being played with in a careful manner. I like toys being put away not just thrown into a random bucket. I like the floors clear of hurdles. These likes do not always go hand in hand with having children. I knew this. I also knew that there were ways to help you chid learn to put toys away properly. When I worked in pre-school that is exactly what we did after free play...we cleaned up and put toys in the designated storage place. Everything was labeled with the item name and a picture. The adults helped. Easy-peasy!

Fast forward to the present.....

Rae doesn't make messes. She never has to put her toys away. She doesn't leave blocks or dolls strewn all over the living room. She never drags my tupperware out to use as a drum set. She doesn't draw on the walls or herself (heck, she would prefer to eat the crayons than draw with them). She doesn't splash water all over the bathroom or pile bubbles on top of her head. Her books stay neat and tidy on the book shelves. If I lay her down or sit her in a chair she is going to stay there. Her clothes are always exactly where I leave them (usually on the chair in her bedroom) and she has yet to misplace a shoe.

This list could go on forever.

It is one of the biggest changes in me that has taken place since Rae was born. Now I love it when my friends bring their kids over and tear up Rae's therapy space (it looks like a toy store). I smiled when one brown haired cutie toddled around my kitchen opening all of my cabinet doors. I joyfully chase after them as the run around trying to find something else to get into. I listen to their endless chatter about absolutely nothing and revel in the beauty of their jibber jabber. The things that used to work my last nerve have become a reprieve from my reality. I don't want my friends to apologize (in fact I apologize for not being "baby proofed"). Heck, I don't even care if they help me clean up. I just want to bask in the normalcy of the mess.

One of the things that bothers me though, my former self is so burned into some people's memory that they feel I am going to get upset if their children bring chaos and messes (gasp!) into our home. Don't get me wrong...our life can be a bit chaotic and messy, but it is a totally unwelcome type of mess. The revolving door of therapists and doctors. The ever growing collection of medical equipment. The box of empty medication bottles and precarious mountain of plastic syringes. The towering stacks of medical paperwork and bills (all of which gets filed in our own Big Book of Boo Boo' some point). No one wants that kind of mess!

But, for those brief visits I get to see the messes that could have been and boy it would have been something else! (I wouldn't have appreciated it if Rae wasn't who she is) Looking at it in the rearview mirror allows me to see the beauty of those messes and also shows me how much I've grown from the lessons Rae has taught me (all my former habits can't change...I still keep her toys pretty tidy). I still have so much to learn from her.

A place for everything and everything in its place!

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